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Jazz - Released March 23, 2018 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
When you see the names Miles Davis and John Coltrane on the same poster, you feel a shiver down your spine. This sixth instalment of the trumpet player's Bootleg Series that shiver grows – to put it euphemistically – to ecstasy. The Final Tour concentrates on the final chapter of the collaboration between Miles and Coltrane. On four CDs, it takes in performances recorded as part of their 1960 European tour – their last outing together before the saxophonist's death in July 1967. It includes both concerts at the Paris Olympia of 21 March 1960, the two concerts of 22 March in Stockholm, and of 24 March in Copenhagen, all available for the first time on a format other than quarter-inch tape. These five concerts take place about a year after the release of the masterpiece Kind of Blue, which shook the jazz world to its core. Our protagonists' nuclear creative power threaten the quintet with catastrophe at every turn. With pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, Miles and Trane deliver torrential improvisations in which fusion and opposition battle it out. But miraculously, it all holds together. And how! It's the magic of these five concerts: hearing the five giants all at once, and their ability to match each other's pace, and roar in unison. In terms of the repertoire, this box set is a kind of davisian nirvana: it holds all the greatest themes (not always his own) which made the trumpeter's name: ’Round Midnight, Bye Bye Blackbird, On Green Dolphin Street, Walkin’, All Of You, Oleo, So What and All Blues… Finally, The Final Tour finishes on a jaw-dropping interview given by Coltrane to the Swedish DJ Carl-Erik Lindgren. "Do you feel angry?," asks Lindgren. "No, I don't," says Trane. "I was talking to a fellow the other day, and I told him, the reason I play so many sounds, maybe it sounds angry, I'm trying so many things at one time. I haven't sorted them out." Listening to these 1960 concerts, we can only respond: long live confusion! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 16, 2011 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions Choc de Classica - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - L'album du mois JAZZ NEWS - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released October 11, 1972 | Columbia - Legacy

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Could there be any more confrontational sound in Miles Davis' vast catalog than the distorted guitars and tinny double-timing drums reacting to a two-note bass riff funking it up on the first track from On the Corner? Before the trumpet even enters the story has been broken off in the middle -- deep street music melding with a secret language exchanged by the band and those who can actually hear it as music. Here are killer groove riffs that barely hold on as bleating trumpet and soprano sax lines (courtesy of Dave Liebman on track one) interact with John McLaughlin's distortion-box frenzy. Michael Henderson's bass keeps the basic so basic it hypnotizes; keyboards slowly enter the picture, a pair of them handled by Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, as well as Ivory Williams' synthesizer. Finally, Colin Walcott jumps in with an electric sitar and there are no less than five drummers -- three kits (Al Foster, Billy Hart, and Jack DeJohnette), a tabla player, and Mtume. It's a four-tune suite, On the Corner is, but the separations hardly matter, just the shifts in groove that alter the time/space continuum. After 20 minutes, the set feels over and a form of Miles' strange lyricism returns in "Black Satin." Though a tabla kicks the tune off, there's a recognizable eight-note melody that runs throughout. Carlos Garnett and Bennie Maupin replace Liebman, Dave Creamer replaces McLaughlin, and the groove rides a bit easier -- except for those hand bells shimmering in the background off the beat just enough to make the squares crazy. The respite is short-lived, however. Davis and band move the music way over to the funk side of the street -- though the street funkers thought these cats were too weird with their stranded time signatures and modal fugues that begin and end nowhere and live for the way the riff breaks down into emptiness. "One and One" begins the new tale, so jazz breaks down and gets polished off and resurrected as a far blacker, deeper-than-blue character in the form of "Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X," where guitars and horns careen off Henderson's cracking bass and Foster's skittering hi-hats. It may sound weird even today, but On the Corner is the most street record ever recorded by a jazz musician. And it still kicks. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 6, 1957 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released July 18, 1960 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released July 30, 1969 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Listening to Miles Davis' originally released version of In a Silent Way in light of the complete sessions released by Sony in 2001 (Columbia Legacy 65362) reveals just how strategic and dramatic a studio construction it was. If one listens to Joe Zawinul's original version of "In a Silent Way," it comes across as almost a folk song with a very pronounced melody. The version Miles Davis and Teo Macero assembled from the recording session in July of 1968 is anything but. There is no melody, not even a melodic frame. There are only vamps and solos, grooves layered on top of other grooves spiraling toward space but ending in silence. But even these don't begin until almost ten minutes into the piece. It's Miles and McLaughlin, sparely breathing and wending their way through a series of seemingly disconnected phrases until the groove monster kicks in. The solos are extended, digging deep into the heart of the ethereal groove, which was dark, smoky, and ashen. McLaughlin and Hancock are particularly brilliant, but Corea's solo on the Fender Rhodes is one of his most articulate and spiraling on the instrument ever. The A-side of the album, "Shhh/Peaceful," is even more so. With Tony Williams shimmering away on the cymbals in double time, Miles comes out slippery and slowly, playing over the top of the vamp, playing ostinato and moving off into more mysterious territory a moment at a time. With Zawinul's organ in the background offering the occasional swell of darkness and dimension, Miles could continue indefinitely. But McLaughlin is hovering, easing in, moving up against the organ and the trills by Hancock and Corea; Wayne Shorter hesitantly winds in and out of the mix on his soprano, filling space until it's his turn to solo. But John McLaughlin, playing solos and fills throughout (the piece is like one long dreamy solo for the guitarist), is what gives it its open quality, like a piece of music with no borders as he turns in and through the commingling keyboards as Holland paces everything along. When the first round of solos ends, Zawinul and McLaughlin and Williams usher it back in with painterly decoration and illumination from Corea and Hancock. Miles picks up on another riff created by Corea and slips in to bring back the ostinato "theme" of the work. He plays glissando right near the very end, which is the only place where the band swells and the tune moves above a whisper before Zawinul's organ fades it into silence. This disc holds up, and perhaps is even stronger because of the issue of the complete sessions. It is, along with Jack Johnson and Bitches Brew, a signature Miles Davis session from the electric era. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 7, 1993 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion -- the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis' best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn't worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool. Columbia also allowed Evans to assemble a 19-piece band for the recordings, at a time when big bands were far out of fashion and also at a time when the resulting recordings could not be released until two years in the future (because of Davis' contractual obligations with Prestige). Davis was also expected to carry the album as its only soloist, and manage not to get lost among a cast of supporting musicians that included a huge horn section. To a large extent, he succeeds. Evans' arrangements in particular are well-suited to the format, and he and Davis formed a deep and close partnership where ideas were swapped back and forth, nurtured, and developed long before they were expressed in the studio. Davis gets off to a great start, with the hyper-kinetic "Springsville," which seems to almost perfectly embody Evans' and Davis' partnership with its light, flexible exchanges between soloist and orchestra. He is strongest on the ballads, though, where his subdued and wistful tone rises high above the hushed accompaniment, especially on "Miles Ahead" and "Blues for Pablo" (which foreshadows the bluesy, Latin-tinged sound of Sketches of Spain). The upbeat "I Don't Want to Be Kissed (By Anyone but You)" is another strong song, but shows the weakness of the format as Davis intersperses a charming, bright, technically challenging solo with a blasting horn section that occasionally buries him. It is a fine end, however, to an album that gave a hint of the greatness that would come as Evans and Davis fine-tuned their partnership over the course of the next several years. © Stacia Proefrock /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 17, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio
Live-Evil is one of Miles Davis' most confusing and illuminating documents. As a double album, it features very different settings of his band -- and indeed two very different bands. The double-LP CD package is an amalgam of a December 19, 1970, gig at the Cellar Door, which featured a band comprised of Miles, bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Jack DeJohnette, guitarist John McLaughlin, saxophonist Gary Bartz, Keith Jarrett on organ, and percussionist Airto. These tunes show a septet that grooved hard and fast, touching on the great funkiness that would come on later. But they are also misleading in that McLaughlin only joined the band for this night of a four-night stand; he wasn't really a member of the band at this time. Therefore, as fine and deeply lyrically grooved-out as these tracks are, they feel just a bit stiff -- check any edition of this band without him and hear the difference. The other band on these discs was recorded in Columbia's Studio B and subbed Ron Carter or Dave Holland on bass, added Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock on electric pianos, dropped the guitar on "Selim" and "Nem Um Talvez," and subbed Steve Grossman over Gary Bartz while adding Hermeto Pascoal on percussion and drums in one place ("Selim"). In fact, these sessions were recorded earlier than the live dates, the previous June in fact, when the three-keyboard band was beginning to fall apart. Why the discs were not issued separately or as a live disc and a studio disc has more to do with Miles' mind than anything else. As for the performances, the live material is wonderfully immediate and fiery: "Sivad," "Funky Tonk," and "What I Say" all cream with enthusiasm, even if they are a tad unsure of how to accommodate McLaughlin. Of the studio tracks, only "Little Red Church" comes up to that level of excitement, but the other tracks, particularly "Gemini/Double Image," have a winding, whirring kind of dynamic to them that seems to turn them back in on themselves, as if the band was really pushing in a free direction that Miles was trying to rein in. It's an awesome record, but it's because of its flaws rather than in spite of them. This is the sound of transition and complexity, and somehow it still grooves wonderfully. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
So dubbed because these three sessions -- two from early 1949, one from March 1950 -- are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate. After all, there's a reason why this music was called cool; it has a hip, detached elegance, never getting too hot, even as the rhythms skip and jump. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about these sessions -- arranged by Gil Evans and featuring such heavy-hitters as Kai Winding, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, and Max Roach -- is that they sound intimate, as the nonet never pushes too hard, never sounds like the work of nine musicians. Furthermore, the group keeps things short and concise (probably the result of the running time of singles, but the results are the same), which keeps the focus on the tones and tunes. The virtuosity led to relaxing, stylish mood music as the end result -- the very thing that came to define West Coast or "cool" jazz -- but this music is so inventive, it remains alluring even after its influence has been thoroughly absorbed into the mainstream © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 24, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio
None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970 and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Davis, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman (no piano player!), which reflects the liner notes. This was from the musicians' point of view, in a single take, recorded as McLaughlin began riffing in the studio while waiting for Davis; it was picked up on by Henderson and Cobham, Hancock was ushered in to jump on a Hammond organ (he was passing through the building), and Davis rushed in at 2:19 and proceeded to play one of the longest, funkiest, knottiest, and most complex solos of his career. Seldom has he cut loose like that and played in the high register with such a full sound. In the meantime, the interplay between Cobham, McLaughlin, and Henderson is out of the box, McLaughlin playing long, angular chords centering around E. This was funky, dirty rock & roll jazz. The groove gets nastier and nastier as the track carries on and never quits, though there are insertions by Macero of two Davis takes on Sly Stone tunes and an ambient textured section before the band comes back with the groove, fires it up again, and carries it out. On "Yesternow," the case is far more complex. There are two lineups, the one mentioned above, and one that begins at about 12:55. The second lineup was Davis, McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Bennie Maupin, Dave Holland, and Sonny Sharrock. The first 12 minutes of the tune revolve around a single bass riff lifted from James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The material that eases the first half of the tune into the second is taken from "Shhh/Peaceful," from In a Silent Way, overdubbed with the same trumpet solo that is in the ambient section of "Right Off." It gets more complex as the original lineup is dubbed back in with a section from Davis' tune "Willie Nelson," another part of the ambient section of "Right Off," and an orchestral bit of "The Man Nobody Saw" at 23:52, before the voice of Jack Johnson (by actor Brock Peters) takes the piece out. The highly textured, nearly pastoral ambience at the end of the album is a fitting coda to the chilling, overall high-energy rockist stance of the album. Jack Johnson is the purest electric jazz record ever made because of the feeling of spontaneity and freedom it evokes in the listener, for the stellar and inspiring solos by McLaughlin and Davis that blur all edges between the two musics, and for the tireless perfection of the studio assemblage by Miles and producer Macero. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 21, 2009 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released October 21, 2016 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 29, 1958 | Fontana

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released August 17, 1959 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Sixty years after the release of Miles Davis' masterpiece, explanations for its everlasting allure and mysterious beauty remain elusive. Over the years—in books, magazines and documentary films—a parade of Miles' contemporaries have struggled to explain this 1959 album, often cited as the best-selling jazz album in history. Recorded in long, whole takes over only two sessions 51 days apart, at Columbia Records' famed 30th Street Studios, Kind of Blue is a landmark in the evolution of jazz as the first modal classic—where the improvising is based on scales rather than the dense clusters of chord changes that powered bebop. This stylish, beloved cornerstone of any jazz collection, with its relaxed tempi, rich colors and sleek silences, also possesses a timeless simplicity that continues to sound familiar and inviting. Captured in great depth and detail by engineer Fred Plaut, brooding opener "So What," upbeat, merry "Freddie Freeloader," Bill Evans' dreamy "Blue In Green," the 6/8 double waltz "All Blues," (an aural sketch of weaving through city traffic), and the album's most purely modal number and closer "Flamenco Sketches," have all endured to become the most atmospheric, resonant and ultimately sexiest single set of recorded tunes in jazz history. Much of its undiminished magnetism comes from Miles' innate genius in building potent chemistry between musicians of contrasting styles. From the leader's icy tone to John Coltrane's muscular cascade of tenor saxophone notes, through Cannonball Adderley's soulful alto sax exuberance and pianist Bill Evans' spacious, incisive contributions, this collision of musical opposites, all driven by the underrated bassist Paul Chambers and steady drummer Jimmy Cobb, creates a mood and defines the jazz ethos of "cool" from the first dark notes of the famous opening bass line. According to Evans' original liner notes, Davis came up with these five explorations the night before the first recording session. It’s proof yet again that spontaneity and serendipity are the soul of jazz, or what Evans accurately summed up here as "collective coherent thinking" where the "direct deed is the most meaningful reflection." © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released October 11, 2010 | Rhino - Warner Records

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The controversial but memorable Tutu is mostly a duet between Miles Davis and the many overdubbed instruments of producer Marcus Miller (although violinist Michal Urbaniak, percussionist Paulinho da Costa, and keyboardist George Duke are among the other musicians making brief apperaances). Certainly the results are not all that spontaneous, but Davis is in top form and some of the selections (most notably the title cut) are quite memorable. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 15, 2009 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Sixty years after the release of Miles Davis' masterpiece, explanations for its everlasting allure and mysterious beauty remain elusive. Over the years—in books, magazines and documentary films—a parade of Miles' contemporaries have struggled to explain this 1959 album, often cited as the best-selling jazz album in history. Recorded in long, whole takes over only two sessions 51 days apart, at Columbia Records' famed 30th Street Studios, Kind of Blue is a landmark in the evolution of jazz as the first modal classic—where the improvising is based on scales rather than the dense clusters of chord changes that powered bebop. This stylish, beloved cornerstone of any jazz collection, with its relaxed tempi, rich colors and sleek silences, also possesses a timeless simplicity that continues to sound familiar and inviting. Captured in great depth and detail by engineer Fred Plaut, brooding opener "So What," upbeat, merry "Freddie Freeloader," Bill Evans' dreamy "Blue In Green," the 6/8 double waltz "All Blues," (an aural sketch of weaving through city traffic), and the album's most purely modal number and closer "Flamenco Sketches," have all endured to become the most atmospheric, resonant and ultimately sexiest single set of recorded tunes in jazz history. Much of its undiminished magnetism comes from Miles' innate genius in building potent chemistry between musicians of contrasting styles. From the leader's icy tone to John Coltrane's muscular cascade of tenor saxophone notes, through Cannonball Adderley's soulful alto sax exuberance and pianist Bill Evans' spacious, incisive contributions, this collision of musical opposites, all driven by the underrated bassist Paul Chambers and steady drummer Jimmy Cobb, creates a mood and defines the jazz ethos of "cool" from the first dark notes of the famous opening bass line. According to Evans' original liner notes, Davis came up with these five explorations the night before the first recording session. It’s proof yet again that spontaneity and serendipity are the soul of jazz, or what Evans accurately summed up here as "collective coherent thinking" where the "direct deed is the most meaningful reflection." © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released March 30, 1970 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released March 25, 2003 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Legacy imprint's issuance of the complete performances of the Miles Davis Quintet at San Francisco's (infamous) Blackhawk in April of 1961 sets straight a very confusing record once and for all. The individual nights have been available in many different configurations over the decades, first as LPs, and in even weirder ones on CD. That's all over now, as this pair of double discs contain both nights in their entirety, adding a total of four previously unreleased performances to Friday night and nine unissued performances to Saturday night, including an entire unreleased fourth set. This alone is reason to purchase the four-CD package, though both evenings are available individually as well. In terms of which night of the two was better, it's a toss-up. This short-lived version of the quintet featured Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly, Jimmy Cobb, and Hank Mobley with Davis. These four discs should begin to fill the void of criticism about this band. Though short-lived, the unique character of this group was its sheer intensity and diversity of attack. Because of the departure of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane, Davis had to rely as much on a muscular attack in playing his instrument as his considerable gift for melodic improvisation. For his part, Mobley had the shoes of two monster players to fill, and he does so elegantly with a ton of fire in his playing. But it is Kelly and Chambers who really set the pace for this band. Kelly fills space in the middle register with an amazingly percussive attack that is as rhythmic as it is harmonically inventive. Mobley steps away from the hard bop side of his trademark sound to go back to the Sonny Rollins book of bebop, and even Davis uses the method of attack and surprise that gained him a reputation with Charlie Parker. Chambers is the man on whom it all turns, equating the parts of the band's aesthetic. He and Cobb move toward one another and Chambers translates the shifting rhythmic patterns and segues to Kelly, whose interplay with him is almost instinctual, and then through Kelly to the horn players. Kelly's sense of that ever-changing momentum and dynamic allows him to be a real part of the rhythm section (as opposed to a melodic counterpart to the front line) and adds room for the horn players to move about inside the bridges he creates between the two factions. His right-hand soloing is based on a series of harmonic and intervallic modes he continually pulls out of his hat and feeds Chambers, more in terms of directional possibility, which is vertical rather than horizontal. For evidence, check the contrast between the opening tunes: Friday's "Oleo" at breakneck speed, and the nearly 13-minute "If I Were a Bell" on Saturday, which lopes and takes its time articulating the varying chromatic architectures being erected not only during the solos, but in the band's ensemble playing as well. The common tunes from both nights -- such as "If I Were a Bell," "Walkin'," "On Green Dolphin Street," "No Blues," and "Love, I've Found You" -- differ radically from one another. On Friday everything is pent-up; chops are flying off the bandstand furiously, with each player holding tight to Miles' arrangements, but forcing the issue of the solos. On Saturday, the set is relaxed, uptempo in most cases, and filled with a kind of comfort that allows for chances to be taken without consequences. The reading of "Autumn Leaves" and the unique version of Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" provide an astonishing look at bandmembers who could pull off virtually anything, although they had only been together a short time. Add the set of ballads on Saturday -- "I Thought About You," "Someday My Prince Will Come," and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" -- that closes out the weekend, and the listener perhaps hears as many dimensions to Miles Davis as existed at the time. The sound is pristine; the packaging is lovely, with new notes by Eddie Henderson that accompany Ralph J. Gleason's original ones. Complete documentation accompanies each disc, and no Davis fan should be without these recordings purchased separately or as a set. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released March 17, 1998 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

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Miles Davis in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #14
    The Qobuz Minute #14 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...